A systematic review and meta-analysis of predictors of airway intervention in adult epiglottitis

Anders Sideris, Timothy R Holmes, Benjamin Cumming, Thomas Havas
Laryngoscope 2020, 130 (2): 465-473

OBJECTIVE: Epiglottitis is typically considered a pediatric disease; however, there is growing evidence that the incidence of adult epiglottitis has changed since the introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae vaccine. The literature is composed of multiple small series with differing findings. To date, there has been no attempt to collaborate evidence on predictors of airway intervention in this disease.

METHODS: The population of interest was adults with a diagnosis of epiglottitis. The primary outcome in this review was incidence of airway intervention. A comprehensive literature search was conducted of the MEDLINE and Embase databases, and a separate random-effects model meta-analysis was undertaken for all outcome data. Moderator tests for comparison between prevaccine and postvaccine estimates were made, and absolute risk difference (RD) and relative risk (RR) calculations were made for all predictors of airway intervention.

RESULTS: Thirty studies and a total of 10,148 patients were finally included for meta-analysis. A significant decrease in airway intervention was seen post vaccine introduction introduction from 18.8% to 10.9% (P = 0.01). The presence of an abscess (RD 0.27, P = 0.04; RR 2.45, P < 0.001), stridor (RD 0.64, P < 0.001; RR 7.15, P < 0.001), or a history of diabetes mellitus (RD 0.11, P = 0.02; RR 2.15, P = 0.01) were associated with need for airway intervention.

CONCLUSION: In the postvaccine era, clinicians should expect to have to secure airways in 10.9% of cases. The presence of an epiglottic abscess, stridor, or a history of diabetes mellitus are the most reliable clinical features associated with need for airway intervention.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: NA Laryngoscope, 130:465-473, 2020.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.